COVID-19 Updates

AHCA/NCAL Offers Guidance On Having Residents Safely Venture From Rooms, Connect With Others



Revenue Data Must Be Filed With HHS By June 3 To Obtain COVID-19 Financial Relief

Provider Magazine (6/2, Connole, 151K) reports,, “In a late-breaking piece of information, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has clarified that the June 3 deadline for long term care providers to submit revenue data to get COVID-19 financial relief is only for providers that received a Tranche 1 allocation and would like to submit financial information to receive additional Tranche 1 funding.” In its interpretation of “the announcement, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) said providers would still be required to ensure that their General Distribution payment is the lesser of 2 percent of their provider net revenue or the sum of incurred losses for March and April.” In addition, “AHCA/NCAL said it recognizes how challenging the lack of guidance is for providers and is working with HHS to secure additional information.”


CMS Announces Potential Fines Up To $20K For LTC Infection Control Deficiencies

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (6/2, Brown) reports, “Providers struggling to comply with infection control requirements could be looking at fines of up to $20,000 under increased enforcement efforts announced Monday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.” The “fines increase for providers that consistently perform poorly on infection control measures, according to CMS.” AHCA/NCAL president and CEO Mark Parkinson “warned against the effect of punitive actions,” saying, “Citations and fines without assistance will not help us keep residents and staff safe from this virus.”

Skilled Nursing News (6/1, Spanko) reports, “SNFs that receive an infection control deficiency citation when they have no previous history of citations for infection control will only have to submit a directed plan of correction if the violation is not widespread.” Moreover, “SNFs with a similarly spotless infection control history that do have a widespread issue of noncompliance would face both a plan of correction and discretionary denial of payment for new admissions.” In addition, “CMS will also use $80 million in CARES Act funding for State Survey Agencies (SSAs) as a carrot and a stick as officials push states to perform 100% of required infection control surveys by the end of July.”


AHCA/NCAL Offers Guidance On Having Residents Safely Venture From Rooms, Connect With Others

McKnight’s Senior Living (6/2, Bonvissuto) reports, “The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living has released guidance on innovative methods that senior living and care communities can use to keep residents and family members connected while maintaining a mindset on infection prevention and control.” The organizations “offered a variety of suggestions for connecting residents both indoors and outdoors.” For instance, “for indoor spaces, they suggest developing ‘see-through rooms’ using glass or plastic to allow for full visitation while ensuring separation, reconfiguring foyer entry areas and common areas, and setting up a resident / patient room for visitations.”

McKnight’s Long Term Care News (6/2) reports that additional ways AHCA/NCAL recommends that operators “develop plans that allow residents to safely venture from their rooms” include creation of “physical and visual demarcations in common room areas.” In addition, activity suggestions include starting “a book club where a resident discusses a book at a safe distance from others,” or encouraging “physical exercise with Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, and/or dance party.”


PharMerica Takes Steps To Deal With Challenges Posed By COVID-19

Provider Magazine (6/1, Connole, 151K) reports, “Organizations all over the world, in every field, have had to rethink how they will operate in a world consumed by the pandemic resulting from the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).” This “shifting of gears to account for this momentous upheaval is especially true for companies doing business in the long term and post-acute care (LT/PAC) space, which revolves around servicing facilities that are home to frail and elderly individuals most susceptible to the virus.” For instance, “PharMerica and its roster of providers have taken their strategic partnering to a new level, complete with virtual ways of communicating, like through the pharmacy’s virtual implementation and onboarding process for new and existing clients, virtual nurse consulting services, virtual pharmacist consulting services, and online training and clinical-based webinars.”




CDC Provides Updated COVID-19 Guidance For Assisted Living Communities

McKnight’s Senior Living (6/2, Bonvissuto) reports, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to assisted living communities on Friday, providing recommendations on infection reporting, visitor restrictions and group activities.” This “guidance came on the same day eight U.S. senators wrote to the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services chiefs calling for CDC guidance on reopening long-term care facilities to visitors.” In addition to “seeking guidance from state and local officials regarding relaxing restrictions – including reintroducing visitors, allowing group activities or restoring communal dining – and infection control programs, the CDC also encouraged assisted living operators to refer to CMS nursing home reopening recommendations for guidance.”


Older Adults With Certain Chronic Conditions More Likely To Have Severe Tooth Loss Compared With Peers Who Do Not Suffer From Chronic Conditions, Researchers Say

Healio (6/2, Miller, 28K) reports, “Older adults with certain chronic conditions were significantly more likely to have severe tooth loss compared with adults who did not suffer from chronic conditions,” investigators concluded after analyzing “data from adults aged 50 years or older during two time periods captured in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” The study revealed that “the prevalence of edentulism was at least twice as high among adults with fair or poor general health, emphysema, heart disease, or stroke history.” What’s more, “the prevalence of severe tooth loss was at least 50% higher among adults with fair or poor general health, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, diabetes, uncontrolled diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, liver condition or stroke, compared with those who did not have the condition.” The findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


Sales Metrics In Senior Living Sector Seem To Be Improving, Data Indicate

Senior Housing News (6/1, Mullaney) reports that in terms of COVID-19, “the good news is that May numbers showed improvement over April,” according to Sherpa’s newly released data set regarding senior living metrics. For instance, “over the course of April and May…sales and marketing professionals got creative to implement virtual tours and find other new ways of working.” And, “conversion ratios from visit to move-in have increased during the pandemic.” However, “the data suggests ways that sales teams could better adapt to the constraints of [COVID-19],” according to some in Sherpa’s leadership.


Development Opportunities May Arise Following Pandemic

Senior Housing News (6/1, Sudo) reports that amidst the coronavirus pandemic, “senior housing could prove resilient, and new opportunities for development could arise as other property types become increasingly beleaguered.” For instance, in comparison to “product types that rely on tourism, foot traffic and in-person gatherings,” the senior housing sector “appears to be weathering the crisis.” Among the “expansion opportunities” to consider, “on paper, hotels would appear to be among the easiest property types to reposition into senior housing, given the similarities the two asset classes share: private rooms, large communal spaces, designated entrances and delivery areas for supplies and furniture.”